DAYTON — Battle-tested in the Greater Catholic League, the Fenwick High School boys basketball team wasn’t awed by the Waynesville Spartans and their 19-3 record.
Fenwick (15-8) knocked off the third-seeded Spartans 65-51 in the Division III sectional finals at University of Dayton Arena on Friday night.
The Falcons seized control in the second quarter, built a 16-point lead in the third and withstood two furious Waynesville rallies that cut their lead to six. Guards Kevin Christie and Frank Catrine combined for 33 points, including 17-of-18 from the free-throw line, and played key roles in controlling the tempo to carry Fenwick.
“We didn’t want to play at their speed,” Christie said. “We wanted to make the game more of a GCL-type game — control tempo, force them into bad shots.”
The Falcons didn’t get off to a good start, turning the ball over on five of six possessions and falling behind 8-5.
But after coach Pat Kreke called a timeout, the Falcons caught fire, going on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter and hitting four treys in the second to build a 32-21 lead heading into the half. Four of those threes came from Connor Ridge, who finished with 15 points.
For the game, the Falcons made 7-of-13 shots from 3-point range. Waynesville was just 2-of-14.
“We played the first few minutes like we did the first five games of the season, throwing the ball over the place,” Kreke said. “But we really locked down on them defensively and got a lead.”
Waynesville got within six twice in the fourth quarter, but a 3-pointer by Ridge halted one rally and a steal and a three-point play by Catrine (19 points) with 2:45 left killed the Spartans’ last gasp.
John Luke Arrington finished with eight points and 11 rebounds for the Falcons.